BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Visual effects and post-production industry leader, Crafty Apes, has expanded to Baton Rouge under Louisiana’s Entertainment Job Creation Program, Governor John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday, March 4.
The company has developed visual effects for major movies such as Jumanji: The Next Level and Little Women, as well as TV series Stranger Things and Star Trek: Picard.
Crafty Apes has launched its Baton Rouge operations at the Celtic Media Centre and has started hiring visual effects specialists for its initial projects. The governor’s office says the company plans to hire for six permanent positions with an average salary of of more than $115,000 per year, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) predicts the company’s initial launch with six jobs will result in eight new indirect jobs as well, for a total of 14 new jobs in the capital area. The company’s co-founder, Chris LeDoux, says they expect to ramp up to 20 permanent jobs within six months.
“As I highlighted at the Louisiana Entertainment Summit last month, our Entertainment Job Creation Program is gaining traction as companies invest in permanent jobs for motion picture production and other entertainment sectors in Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “The program already has attracted several companies in New Orleans and one in Shreveport, and I am glad to see it expand to Baton Rouge. Louisiana is well-positioned as an entertainment industry destination, and creating permanent, quality jobs will benefit Louisiana residents and our economy.”
The Entertainment Job Creation Program, signed by Gov. Edwards in 2017, aims to create sustainable, good-paying jobs for the entertainment industry, with a focus on digital media and other industry support jobs in the state. LED says in 2019, five companies joined the program, promising to create 111 jobs.
“By choosing Baton Rouge for our newest studio, we are able to better serve clients in the Louisiana market on their film and television projects, utilize a great tax credit, and hire visual effects professionals from a high-level pool of local talent,” LeDoux said. “We felt it was imperative to build around the best local talent to assist in creating a bustling post industry in the state. Sam Claitor, who will lead our new office as head of production, and Kolby Kember, our VFX supervisor, are longtime locals and veterans of the Louisiana film community. The new studio gives us the ability to continue to provide great work while being a part of Louisiana’s growth in the entertainment sector.”
Crafty Apes offers a full range of visual effects services, including computer-generated imagery, set supervision, 2D and 3D compositing, VFX consultation, and digital cosmetics. The company has principal offices in Hollywood and Atlanta, with studios in New York, New Mexico, and Canada.
“We are pleased and excited that Crafty Apes has chosen to plant their flag at Celtic Studios,” said Aaron Bayham, Celtic’s director of studio operations. “We’ve been telling our young creatives that they can stay and work in Louisiana, and with Crafty Apes landing in Baton Rouge, that’s never been more true. We look forward to getting them settled into their new home here, and can’t wait to see what magic their artists will create.”
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